Welcome to Living Well with MS. In this episode, we are pleased to welcome Mike Kennedy as our guest. Mike was diagnosed with MS over 10 years ago and is an advocate for living a healthy life and following the Overcoming MS Program. He will be discussing with Geoff the lessons he has learnt along the way, including when he deviated from the Overcoming MS diet.
Keep reading for the key episode takeaways.
Questions and Timestamps:
00:33 Could you introduce yourself?
02:32 Can you tell us about your MS and Overcoming MS journey?
11:21 Unhealthy vegan food
18:25 Experience with first neurologist
21:42 Cryotherapy or cold exposure
25:26 Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
33:15 The placebo effect
38:31 Family prevention
43:44 Tea and plant-based milks
45:38 Matt Embry’s influence
49:28 What advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed?
Selected Key Takeaways:
Change your life for life
15:01 “If I was told right now, ‘Mike, you no longer have MS, you will not [get] it again', I would not go back to eating cheese. I would not go back to eating dairy. I would not go back to eating big fat burgers. Honestly, I think that it's all habitual because these are the habits that I built around my life.”
Cryotherapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy helped Mike’s inflammation.
23:13 “At the 10-year mark, my symptoms at that time were a little more pronounced. I tried hyperbaric oxygen [therapy] for an hour and then cryotherapy. I can only say it was the most incredible relief or feeling I've [ever] experienced. [When] I got out of the cryotherapy tank, I felt like I could run a marathon, and I have never run a marathon. All the inflammation in my legs [was] gone; it was just like fresh blood came into my legs and it was the most incredible feeling. I recommend anyone with problems with inflammation or MS to try cryotherapy.”
There can be a silver lining to an MS diagnosis
53:40 “Believe me, it's not all bad news. There's so much you can do to make this situation much better for yourself. In fact, in so many ways, I'm a lot healthier now than I would have been had I not had MS. I know that sounds pretty strange, but it's true. I got healthier; my weight’s a lot healthier. I'm not saying I wouldn't wish I didn't have it, but it certainly gives me a lot of positives as well as negatives, without doubt.”
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More info and links:
- Connect with Mike on Twitter @mrmikekennedy or Instagram @miketonykennedy
- Watch the BBC programme 'Ultraprocessed Foods: A recipe for ill health?'
- Visit Conor Devine’s MS site
- Watch 'The Placebo Experiment: Can My Brain Cure My Body?' by Dr Michael Mosley
- Listen to Trevor Wicken's podcast episode
- MS Workouts with Overcoming MS
- Listen to Dr Gretchen Hawley's podcast episodes:
- Listen to Dom Thorpe's podcast episode
- Listen to Matt Embry's podcast episode
- Find out more about Mike’s mum’s charity, ‘Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer’
- New to Overcoming MS? Visit our introductory page
- Connect with others following Overcoming MS on the Live Well Hub
- Visit the Overcoming MS website
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Mike Kennedy is a dynamic individual who wears many hats with grace and determination. At 35 years old, he's not just the dedicated husband of his incredible wife Alicia, but also the proud father of a little bundle of joy named Skye, who entered their lives in December of last year.
Mike’s MS diagnosis and finding Overcoming MS
Mike's path hasn't been without challenges. At the age of 24, he was confronted with the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, a life-altering moment that would reshape his perspective on health and vitality. Through the ups and downs of his journey, he's emerged as an advocate for the importance of maintaining a holistic approach to health. He carries a cautionary tale about his experience of deviating from the Overcoming MS Diet, thinking he had the upper hand against his condition, only to realise that it was a lifelong commitment. A couple of flare-ups reminded him that shortcuts wouldn't suffice; embracing a full-time, unwavering dedication to his health was non-negotiable.
Mike has great and newfound gratitude for health. The greatest gift he can imagine would be a clean bill of health, and Overcoming MS has provided him with the tools and roadmap to get shockingly close to this goal!
Mike’s professional and personal life
Professionally, Mike is the director of an AV and lighting installation company. Beyond the boardroom, Mike's zest for life is palpable. A fervent musician, he finds solace and inspiration in the notes he strums and the melodies he creates. But that's not all – he's equally devoted to his fitness journey, a regular at the gym where he channels his determination to sculpt both body and mind. Sports have a special place in his heart, with rugby and football being his sporting passions. The thrill of the game and the camaraderie among fellow enthusiasts fuel his spirits.